Texters forge 5-team tie on top; Beermen, Kings collide
Jason Castro scored 33 points in leading Talk ‘N Text to a 91-86 victory over Star as the Tropang Texters won a third straight game and made it a five-team logjam at the top of the standings in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena.
The fleet-footed National team point guard scored seven straight points inside the final two minutes to help the Texters finish off the resilient Hotshots in the Petron Saturday Special Game as Talk ‘N Text tied San Miguel Beer, Rain or Shine, Alaska and GlobalPort for the lead.
Star came within 80-81 with 2:08 left after a James Yap basket before Castro took over. The champions here two seasons ago, the Hotshots dropped below .500 again with their third loss in five games.
Meanwhile, the Beermen will stake their share of the lead Sunday when they clash with sister team Barangay Ginebra as action returns to the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
That game is slated at 5:15 p.m. with the Beermen seeking to win a second straight game and knock the Gin Kings down from Cloud 9.
Ginebra will be coming into the contest a 93-92 winner over Alaska in Dubai last week, just the squad’s first victory under Tim Cone and the win which pundits believe could finally get the star-studded side the push it needs.
Barako Bull will slug it out with Meralco in the 3 p.m. game where the Energy will try to keep the Bolts winless.
San Miguel will be coming off a shaky performance against Blackwater and would need to be sharp to turn back the Gin Kings, who are getting a much-needed lift from the 7-foot Greg Slaughter.
Slaughter is averaging a “20-20” in points and rebounds in what is his best season start in three years as a professional.
His match-up with long-time rival, the 6-foot-10 June Mar Fajardo, is what will make this game a blockbuster at the gates in a venue that has struggled to lure the fans in for the past week.
TALK ‘N TEXT 91—Castro 33, Fonacier 10, Reyes 9, Rosario 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 9, Tautuaa 8, Carey 4, Seigle 4, Miranda 3, Aban 2.
STAR 86—Melton 25, Pingris 17, Simon 11, Barroca 10, Yap 9, Sangalang 6, Mallari 5, Torres 2, Pascual 1, Taha 0, Maliksi 0.
Quarters: 26-25, 52-44, 70-62, 91-86